Baking | Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake …Happy Birthday to me!

“Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.”
Jesse Lane Adams

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake

A Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake … this is what my dreams are made up of. Coffee in a birthday cake has become a quintessential part of my birthday, a flavour that inspires me like no other. A lot of friends express surprise, dismay and even chide me for baking on ‘my big day’ every year… yet this is what relaxes me the most – baking!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeThe teen did offer to bake for me the night before! She said she would begin baking after Grey’s Anatomy which continued late into the night. She offered to do a rainbow cake {her current obsession} but I wanted coffee. “How about rainbow coffee cake?” she asked. I was soon out cold after a hectic Diwali. She passed out soon too!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI tiptoed into the kitchen the next morning to get a head-start while the teens snoozed. Throw coffee into the cake batter and I can climb the highest mountain, sail the roughest sea and still come out good! This is a cake I look forward to baking, one with no plan in particular.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake It’s a good relaxed feeling when you are bake for yourself. No disappointments, no one judges your slips and you get to enjoy the fruits of your own ‘labour‘! Therapy at your own pace, in your own time, in your own space!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeCoffee is my favourite flavour in dessert, so my birthday cake is predictable. The tiramisu we did for the Daring Bakers sang to me. The tiramisu variants that the Olive churns out call my name. I thrive on cold coffee even in the winter.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI use generous doses of Bru instant coffee to get depth of flavour. Bru is one of India’s best known and oldest chicory coffee powders. We love that first mug every morning! It’s a blend we grew up on, the green packaging a nostalgic bit of our teenage years.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeWhen we were young, coffee was forbidden. As teens, we took our first steps into the delicious world of coffee. Both our kids are true lovers of everything coffee, often the first flavour they reach for. Sometimes, chocolate comes second. 

Coffeestudy from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences found that a daily dose of caffeine may block the disruptive effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee is now listed as one of many brain foods.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI am not advocating the benefits of coffee. Just saying that if you are a coffee lover, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a cake like this. Use your best loved coffee brand; indulge your palette!! This Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake is testament to it.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeThe flavours developed deeply and nicely. Alternate layers of vanilla bean and coffee sponge sandwiched with a light whipped coffee cream. I did contemplate a chocolate filling but the clock grew wings. Time flew away!  So I grabbed a huge bowl of chilled low fat cream and beat the daylights out of it. 2 tbsps of coffee later, junior teen dug a spoon in …. “Yummm. Can I finish whats left?”

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI asked him to take a teeny video of me assembling the cake if he wanted the cream! Bribery works. Little hands, sometimes shaky, sometimes distracted, tired easily, we did get something on camera. Will process and post it soon. It was shot basically for the chocolate lace collar as I get a lot of mails asking me how I make it.


Recipe: Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake
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Summary: Light as air vanilla and coffee layers of cake sandwiched with delicious whipped coffee cream make for a perfect dessert. Make a day ahead if you like. The tastes mature beautifully!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Vanilla Bean Sponge
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g raw sugar / bura {or powdered sugar}
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2tsp extra virign olive oil
  • 1tbsp 2% milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
  • Coffee Sponge
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g raw sugar / bura {or powdered sugar}
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 20ml warm water
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2tsp extra virign olive oil
  • 1tbsp 2% milk
  • Simple Coffee Syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2tbsp raw sugar {or powdered sugar}
  • Coffee Whipped Cream
  • 800ml low fat cream, chilled
  • 150g raw sugar / bura {or powdered sugar}
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp instant coffee powder {as per taste}


  1. Vanilla Bean Sponge
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a 8″ round cake tin with baking parchment. 
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Reserve.
  4. Beat the eggs with raw/powdered sugar and scraped vanilla bean in a big bowl over a pan of simmering water until tripled in volume and mousse like, about 7 minutes. {Thermomix: Butterfly insert, Speed 4, 37c, 7 minutes}
  5. Gently add the flour mix and fold through, followed by the olive oil and milk.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes in conventional oven until light golden brown.
  7. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, and demold and cool completely on cooling rack.
  8. Slice into 2 layers.
  9. Coffee Sponge
  10. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a 8″ round cake tin with baking parchment. 
  11. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Reserve.
  12. Stir the coffee into the warm water. Leave to mature flavours.
  13. Beat the eggs with raw/powdered sugar and scraped vanilla bean in a big bowl over a pan of simmering water until tripled in volume and mousse like, about 7 minutes. {Thermomix: Butterfly insert, Speed 4, 37c, 7 minutes}.
  14. Add the coffee  mixture and beat to incorporate.
  15. Gently add the flour mix and fold through, followed by the olive oil and milk.
  16. Transfer batter to prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes in conventional oven until light golden brown.
  17. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, and demold and cool completely on cooling rack.
  18. Slice into 3 layers.
  19. Simple Coffee Syrup
  20. Stir together all ingredients, heat gently if required. Cool and reserve in bowl. 
  21. Coffee Whipped Cream
  22. Make sure the cream is well chilled. {You can use whipping cream if available. Life just becomes a lot easier and quicker, but make sure you don’t over whip it and get butter}
  23. Whip the cream and sugar {reserve a little to add later once you taste the sweetness} to stiff peaks. Low fat cream available in India takes quite a while to beat up if the weather is warm. It sometimes even fails to oblige. Feel free to use whipping cream if you like.
  24. Assembling
  25. Divide the coffee cream into 2 bowls, one for filling and the second half for frosting.
  26. Place a layer of vanilla sponge on your cake plate/ dessert platter. Paint lightly with coffee syrup. Put a generous dollop of coffee cream and spread uniformly to the sides.
  27. Top with a layer of coffee sponge. Repaet until you use all layers, alternating between vanilla & coffee.
  28. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining coffee cream. Pipe some rosettes on top if you like, garnish with chocolate flakes. Finish the cake with a piped chocolate lace border if desired.
  29. Chill until ready to serve. Leave out for about 30 minutes prior to cutting.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 4 years ago

    This cake is beautiful and so tempting! Coffee is such a great flavor.



  • 4 years ago

    I must make one of these days your creamy coffee cakes, I too love coffee flavours. Looks like you had a good b’day. Yeah we also were not allowed to drink coffee or tea, the only time mome gave us tea was when we had exams in 10th std on wards and coffee i only started drinking after comming here and now i am addicted to it 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    First of all, Happy Birthday!!! Secondly – your cake is STUNNING!! I haven’t made chocolate lace for eons – yours is so very beautiful. Bravo!!!

  • 4 years ago

    Sipping a nice Ethiopean filter coffee right now and imagining your cake 🙂
    Bliss 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday, Deeba. What a beautiful cake. I can see you relaxing away as you prepare the layers while sipping coffee… Lovely designs

  • 4 years ago

    Love the coffee flavored desserts more than the chocolate ones these days. This cake looks so charming. So true, baking for you own self is so relaxing. Waiting to see the video. Happy b’day once again.

  • 4 years ago

    Your blog posts are always inspiring but I think with this gloriously beautiful cake you have reached new heights! WOW!!! And a very happy birthday to you 🙂

  • hina
    4 years ago

    Looks very delicious!

  • meena
    4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    All I can say is-Hapy Birthday,genius!
    Love it!

  • 4 years ago

    Love this cake! Beautiful pics!

  • Happy birthday Deeba! I never fail to admire your signature chocolate lace borders on your cakes. If only I was not so lazy in putting that extra effort in frosting my layers and adding a bit more flair to have a cake so stunning as yours.

  • abha
    4 years ago

    Hi Deeba , Happy B’day to the SILK LADY .Wonderful Cake, indeed.Now I’m also getting addicted to coffee flavor in baked stuff.
    Love Abha

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Deeba! You know what? I am going to bake the same cake on my b’day too…the cake not only looks perfect but also has my fav ingredient – coffee! Or maybe I shouldn’t really wait for another 8 months to relish this divine cake 🙂

  • Vinita
    4 years ago

    hi Deeba, its First time that I am commenting on your blog, but have been following it since ages!!…just wanna wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY(BELATED), you truly are the only one who inspire me towards baking. I am in LOVE with your blogs. Keep Baking and posting your marvelous creations
    Vinita 🙂

  • Andy
    4 years ago

    Hi Deeba,

    First of all a very very happy bday to you….

    Coffee is my first love too and especially love Bru!!

  • 4 years ago

    I can’t agree more with you Deeba, I always want to bake myself a cake on my birthday but no one seems to understand that!! And coffee… so good! I’m definitely treating myself with such cake someday 🙂
    Deeba, I wish you all the happiness that your heart can handle! Happy birthday!

    • 4 years ago

      Renata. Thank you for those wishes. You are the best! Much love!

  • What a beauty! A very happy birthday to you once again Deeba! Keep rocking 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Yes, you absolutely MUST bake yourself a cake for your birthday for the sheer fun and joy of it! A stunner of a cake again, an extremely inviting one as coffee happens to be my very much loved flavor too! Beautiful shots, will wait for the video!

  • 4 years ago

    Its too pretty to even think about eating but its also coffee, definitely going to my bookmarks!
    Wish you a very Happy birthday!
    Cheers to our coffee love…

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday, Deeba! And the cake is gorgeous! The coffee cream sounds heavenly, I would do anything tor that kind of bribe 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Belated Birthday wishes dear.. The cake is a beauty… Can imagine the heavenly coffee flavor coming out of the cake… Wow wow wow

  • Kamal
    4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Deeba,

    Cake looks lovely and tempting. Yes freshly ground coffee would def smell like heaven to me.
    Would u like more of the parchment?

  • manjeet
    4 years ago

    Happy Birthday and loads of baking luck ahead..:) Will try the cakes and send pics (if they turn out good that is..:) I don’t always have good bakers luck..)


  • erika
    4 years ago

    Beautiful cake. Happy Birthday Deeba hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Atima
    4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Deeba. Hope you have a wonderful day.
    The cake looks yummy!!!!!!

  • 4 years ago

    I would love, love a taste of this one, even though I am not a coffee fan.

  • 4 years ago

    I’m a bona fide chocoholic, but coffee desserts rank a close second. This is absolutely divine.

  • 4 years ago

    This is such a pretty cake!

  • Thomas
    4 years ago

    Can you let me know the fat content of the low fat cream used in the whipped cream?

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Happy Birthday Deeba !
    This cake is singing to me as well. I have been coffee obsessed off late.
    Yum yum ….

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Deeba, I wish you all the best…
    I don’t drink coffee but I like to use it in my baking. Yours look so tempting…love the chocolate borders.

  • 4 years ago

    Happy B-day to you Deeba!!! Lovely cake yum:))) Defiantly I need to try it. I use a Thermonix too, for 10 years and loving it:)))

  • 4 years ago

    Hsppy birthday dear Deeba!!! Hope you had a fun time and blessings!!!

  • Radhika
    4 years ago

    I have recently come across ur blog & may i tell u that all ur recipes look so tempting specially with wonderfully captured photographs as i love desserts & would like to try out some but can i request u to also post some microwave recipes as i don’t have oven.

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday, Deeba!!! You are an inspiration!!

  • 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday, Deeba!!! You are an inspiration and your blog is a visual treat – like the stuff dreams are made of!!!

  • Sahiba
    4 years ago

    Hey Deeba !!

    Happy Happy Birthday to you.. (Belated)..

    As the years pass by, may ur creative juices further overflow and delight us with ur amazing delicacies.. 🙂 Much Much Love and Wishes !! 🙂

    PS – i’ve seen this chocolate boundary in many of ur creations.. n i luv it.. plz tell me where did u buy this mould from.. ? 🙂

  • Wish you a Happy Belated Birthday!
    Love the cake border .. such a lovely cake i would not have been able to cut it 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Beautiful to look at , I bet it tastes wonderful . Will try the recipe as soon as possible .
    I completely agree with you , baking is my therapy . The kitchen should be a place to escape to and not escape from . Anyway, continue baking 🙂 I will surely try the recipe and let you know !

  • 4 years ago

    Beautiful cake ! I bet it tastes wonderful too . Will try out the recipe as soon as possible and let you know . I understand why you love baking , truly . Baking is my therapy . The kitchen is a place that i escape to and not escape from 🙂 Continue baking 😀

  • 4 years ago

    belated happy birthday deeba ! hope it was awesome 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    What a beautiful cake Deeba….new to your site & got obsessed! Belated wishes for your Birthday…

  • 4 years ago

    Stunning, Sistah, absolutely stunning and of course you are so right to bake your own birthday cake! Look at what a beauty! And I love coffee as much as you do and I must make this cake! And the lace chocolate? I made one 25 years ago for a dessert I made for JP and his parents and haven’t made one since. I’ll make one for this! xoxox Hope your BD was fabulous!

  • 4 years ago

    OMG this is awesome I will most certainly try these recipes..oh lalla my daughers birthday is today she will love your chocolate stuff.. I will try that cake this year for my hubby birthday…next week…love thanks your and Belated Happy Birthday!!!!

  • 4 years ago

    Happy happy belated birthday! The cake looks wonderful.

  • 4 years ago

    wishing you a happy birthday belatedly. A gorgeous perfect cake. I love coffe flavors as well.

  • 4 years ago

    what is raw sugar? where is it available in india? can it be replaced?

    • 4 years ago

      Hi there sweetheart. Raw sugar is available as bura or khaand locally. It’s an Indian raw sugar available at the corner wala grocer. Reliance also keepr bura. It’s like powdered sugar. I use it often coz I don’t need to grind sugar anymore!! 🙂 {Replace i with normal white sugar}

  • Pooja
    4 years ago

    Hey Deeba! A quick question- do you think I can make the sponges minus the simmering bit? I only have a stand mixer & it looks a tad difficult whipping over simmering water by hand. Am hoping you will see this & give your inputs soon. I have my heart set out on this cake & really want to make it for V Day” 🙂

    • 4 years ago

      I guess you can Pooja. Just make sure you whip them really well and long until they are mousse like with loads of air beaten in. That will help keep the sponge light. Good luck…and do tell me how it came out!

      • Pooja
        4 years ago

        Thanks for the quick reply! Will let you know how it turned out. I tried your Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries recipe & it was sensational!!! Not half as good looking as yours of course but awesome just the same. Thanks for a keeper!

        • 4 years ago

          You are too sweet Pooja. Thanks a ton for trying one of my faves!

  • chandni
    4 years ago

    amazing and mouth watering delights!Dying to make these myself though i know they wont turn out half as beautiful.Carry on baking!

    • astha mittal
      4 years ago

      i looveeeeeee it!!
      i love coffee to death and made this cake the previous evening..goshhh thanx so much for hsring!!
      cheers to more coffee cakes apart from the typical tiramisus!!
      much love and baking!!

      • 4 years ago

        I love coffee to death too, lovely lady! So happy to have something more in common with you!
        Big hugs!!

  • Debbie
    4 years ago

    Hi Deeba!
    This cake looks AMAZING and I can’t wait to make it! Could you please convert the grams, ML’s so I make this correctly?
    Many thanks and I love your recipes and inspiration.

  • Rose Jacob
    4 years ago

    A quick doubt , how much vanilla essence i need to use to substitue 1/2 vanilla bean scrapped ? I am planning to make it this weekend .

    Thanks for your time

    • 4 years ago

      Hi Rose, 1 tsp of good quality pure vanilla extract will be fine. Good luck!

  • 3 years ago

    hey how to remove that egg smell in cakes
    i tried it but that egg smell ruined all this..

    • 3 years ago

      what is vanilla bean scrapped ?

      • 3 years ago

        Hi Malvika,
        This is the inside of the vanilla bean, the shiny black fragrant insides that are full of flavour.

    • 3 years ago

      You should either use a good quality pure extract or good quality vanilla beans.

      • 3 years ago

        can u plz gv me that name of vanilla extract that you are using ,coz that egg smell is still cuming in my cakes.

  • Megha
    2 years ago

    Belated Happy bday Deeba. I am an avid follower of yours and I simply love your blog.
    I really admire how you bake and captures it well with you photography..

    Hope to be a baker and a homemaker like you!! 🙂

    • 2 years ago

      Thank you Megha. How sweet of you to drop by, and for your appreciative words. 🙂

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